Tomorrow I’m going to the theatre to see Spamalot again (being a baby-boomer, I love all the Python stuff). The musical opens with the words “I’m not dead yet!”

This should be the theme tune for graduate recruitment.

I wrote a blog post recently on my own blog (The Recruiting Unblog) entitled “Lost Generation?”

I was really surprised to discover that a number of graduate training programmes with some major employers were just not getting enough applications.

So few candidates had come forward that these positions were still ‘open’ a month after they should have closed.

I was also shocked by the lack of take-up for three paid intern posts I have been recruiting for. I was expecting an inbox bulging to breaking point – but it was just a trickle.

Each day I’m getting asked to source new interns because the hiring companies can’t find anyone and the university careers offices are almost impossible to work with. Surprisingly, they are totally disinterested in connecting graduates with employers – and spend their time advising on how to draft CVs which are completely inappropriate to the modern job search.

The reason – it seems – for the lack of applications and apathy towards the job market is that there is a general feeling that the graduate job market is dead in the water. But is this really true?

In my experience, many students are electing to do one of four things:

1. Getting in to further debt by extending studies for a few years, often by taking a course that has little commercial value.

2. Strapping on a back-pack and getting the hell out of here.

3. Dedicating life to a study of the under-classes by staying firmly rooted to the sofa and watching episode after episode of Jeremy Kyle, broken up only by Doctors.

4. Accepting a career in the fast food industries in the hope of one day achieving six stars to go with their degree.

If you’re in this position – and seriously contemplating any of the four options listed above – think again. Because there is another way.

Instead, I recommend you get serious about your job search. Pull out all the stops. Be active in social-media and promote your skills via Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. Set up an Employ Me blog on WordPress. Make a Hire Me video and stick it on You Tube. Check any of the job aggregators like 1job that is currently advertising 6,282 jobs for graduates, job board jobsite that are showing 326 jobs for graduate trainees and Twitjobsearch that is showing 3,273 links to graduate trainee jobs just today.

That’s a lot of jobs for a supposedly ‘dead’ market.

As much as you want the security of a permanent job, it’s also worth considering shorter-term options, like a paid internship (Yes, there are still some around!). It might not pay brilliantly, but it will get you real experience if you choose well, and often leads to a job. I’d be glad to help anyone interested in an internship or who just wants to help. Connect with me via my blog, and in terms of your career, you’re not dead yet!

*Do Bill’s comments surprise you?
If employers have jobs and graduates need jobs… what’s going wrong?

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